The other day I was approached by a good friend, who also happens to be a professional marketer in the Bay Area, with a problem.
She recently joined the board of a non-profit organization. This non-profit has a website, but they’re not generating enough traffic to produce a consistent amount of enrollees and customers through their e-commerce store. They also don’t have a large marketing budget, making this issue even harder to address.
Her problem, which was more of a question, was one that I hear from marketing professionals just like her almost every day:
“How do I get more traffic to my website without spending a lot of money?”
The answer I shared with her, that I’ll now share with you, is a simple one: One of the easiest ways to get more traffic at little monetary cost is by publishing evergreen content to your website.
What is Evergreen Content?
Think of the word “evergreen” itself. That alone should tell you that the content never gets old, maintaining its beauty and value year round. It’s consistently relevant to your target audience.
Pamela Vaughn of HubSpot gives us the three main characteristics of evergreen content (source):
- Timeless: Content that is evergreen stands the test of time. With the exception of sometimes needing a few tweaks here and there, evergreen content won’t change much and is practically everlasting.
- Valuable and High Quality: In order to reap the true benefits of being evergreen, blog content must be valuable and high quality enough to get noticed. If a piece of blog content that you intended to be evergreen isn’t valuable to your readers and doesn’t attract substantial views when it’s first published, it will never become evergreen.
- Canonical: Evergreen content is usually the canonical, or definitive, piece of content your business has on that given topic. It’s in-depth, detailed, and it likely took you a lot longer to create than some of your other, non-evergreen blog content.
These characteristics help define the type of content you’ll write about on your blog, which leads us to our next section…
What are Some Examples of Evergreen Content Articles?
Knowing that you have to write evergreen content is a lot easier than actually writing it. Especially if you’re just getting into content marketing. Luckily, Sujan Patel has already laid out five awesome article formats for us in this Search Engine Journal article:
- “How to” guides and tutorials: Process-based documentation often makes for great evergreen content, assuming the techniques you describe won’t be changing in the near future.
- Resource lists: Similarly, groupings of popular industry resources provides a great starting point for beginners in your niche, though you’ll want to periodically check your links to be sure that none of the resources you reference are taken offline.
- Unchanging stances on industry issues: This can be a tricky one to use in your evergreen content (as few things in this world are truly unchanging), though you should be able to come up with at least a few position descriptions on broad topics that aren’t likely to change significantly.
- “Frequently Asked Questions”: FAQ posts can provide helpful guidance to beginners in your field, making these articles important parts of your evergreen content campaigns.
- Industry definitions: Finally, you can’t go wrong with evergreen posts that define common acronyms and jargon phrases in your industry. These definitions aren’t likely to change, meaning that you can write this content once and benefit from it over time.
Now that you know what to write about to keep your content evergreen, you need to actually have someone in your organization write it!
That means creating a editorial calendar and using a tool like BoostSuite to research and find high-opportunity keywords, write and optimize your articles with said keywords, and convert more visitors into customers with the headline optimizer. Again, these articles need to contain valuable, interesting content and they need to be added to your website on a regular basis to show your audience and the search engines you’re active and engaging. Finally, you’ll need to promote these articles with social media to get the word out as you shouldn’t rely solely on organic search for traffic and links.
You also need to make sure to update these articles (as hinted to in #2 above) if any of the links used are removed or if any of the factual information within the articles changes. Doing this keeps the articles accurate, relevant, and evergreen!
In closing, here are some stats to get you pumped up and inspire your future evergreen content marketing efforts!
- On average, a company blog delivers 67% of the leads per month for a small business (via Marketing Pilgrim).
- Adding one new piece of content to a small business website each week for one year produces search engine traffic equal to that from a $90,000 paid advertising campaign (via PRWeb).
- A new page of content on a small business website receives on average 55 new unique website visitors each month (via PRWeb).
Do you have any other tips or techniques that are helpful when writing evergreen content? Let’s hear them in the comments!
Thanks for reading! Be sure to share this with all of your small business marketing colleagues if they need a solid traffic boost!
Photo Credit: bterrycompton via Flickr